What does the Bible say about the danger of the Pokemon fascination?
By Betty Miller
What is behind the fascination with the Pokemon phenomenon? Even though this fad is highly popular among the children today, some may not be really aware of what this game is all about. Children and parents alike may not realize the importance of choosing their games and toys with God’s guidance. Some might argue that this is a small thing and as long as children are entertained it shouldn’t matter what they are playing with. Even as the “little foxes” can spoil the entire grape vine, the games and toys our children embrace can be destructive for them. As parents, the Bible admonishes us to train our children in the right way.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
The question is, what is the right way and how do we know if something is right for our children or even us personally? In the case of Pokemon let us look at the “roots and fruits” of this game. The Bible tells us that we can recognize the tree by the fruit that it bears; Matthew 7:17-20: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
We have a small orchard and this year we are going to have a “bumper crop” from all of our fruit trees, as the frost didn’t freeze the blossoms in early Spring. Usually our apples, pears and grapes bloom out late so we always have those fruits. However, the plums, peaches and apricots usually don’t make it before the freeze gets them. Just yesterday I was looking at all the trees and the small fruit that was on them and was surprised to find a tree that I thought was a plum all along that turned out to be a peach tree. Since they had not had any fruit for a number of years I did not know what kind they were until I saw the small fuzzy fruit on one of them and the shiny plums on another. In the same way it is difficult to discern the true nature of anything until we can see the fruit. Pokemon players are beginning to produce fruit that isn’t good so we need to examine the tree and the root.
LIST OF THE ROOTS AND FRUIT OF POKEMON
1.) First of all, its name describes what this game is about. Pokemon is short for “Pocket Monsters”. When I was growing up, we were taught monsters were evil, not something to play with. When I was a little girl, the “boogie man” or monsters caused us fear and we did not want to be around them. This game makes some of its monsters out as friendly; thus causing children to embrace certain evil spirits as friends instead of resisting them. This is not the only game that does this as there are other games and books that trivialize or glamorize the occult as well. One of the most evil book series that children are reading at this hour are the Harry Potter books. These books are just as dangerous as the Pokemon games. The Harry Potter books have become a best selling series that chronicle the tales of an orphaned boy at a school for wizards. These books deal with the occult in a fantasy way. In the books you will find animal sacrifices, threats of human sacrifices, witchcraft, wizardry and divination as well as other evil things.
For more information about the Harry Potter books: Potter Books: Wicked or Witchcraft?
2.) The game was created in Japan and the concepts of the game and trading cards reflect the principles of Eastern Religions and the philosophies that influenced them. Pokemon is the result of influences that are completely mystical and that embrace warrior religions. These belief systems are not compatible with Christianity.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Book of Tao
The Analects of Confucius
The I Ching
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Shinto teaches that all such natural features were felt to have a god behind their power. Many Shinto beliefs were incorporated into Japanese Buddhist practices after its introduction in the 6th century. Just as they believe in evolution and reincarnation, these ideas are manifest in Pokemon. To be specific, one of the typical examples of the dark side of Pokemon is a character named Haunter; an evolved spirit that can hypnotize and has “dream eater” power (powered by the purple Pokemon energy cards which is psychic energy). This power lets him drain the energy from his opponents. Kadabra is another Pokemon character who evolved from Abra. Both characters have demonic powers.
In Pokemon, the monsters actually die to their old self and evolve into the new, more powerful Pokemon. This is the teaching of eastern mystery religions and is spelled out in the Egyptian book of the dead and other occult religions. Through this children are subtly being indoctrinated into the theory of evolution and mysticism of the eastern religions.
3.) The maker of the Pokemon U. S. trading cards is the Seattle-based company, Wizards of the Coast, owner of the Dungeons and Dragons game and creator owner of a card game called Magic: The Gathering, which is played by an estimated 6 million people. Many of these preteens and teens are learned in the art of casting spells and summoning spirits. Hasbro, a toy company, bought Wizards of the Coast for $325 million. Nintendo introduced Pokemon to the children of America and spent $20 million on just the marketing. Nintendo has sold more than 14 million Pokemon-related video games according to a recent Family PC magazine review.¹ Wouldn’t it be fair to ask what the real motive is for distributing these games? Sales of the Pokemon products have reached the $1 billion mark for Nintendo.
4.) Other philosophies are also evident in Pokemon and these are the demonstration of occultic powers in the games and cards. We also find the influences of New Age Cults, Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism and Satanism in this game. In the practice of witchcraft, spirits are summoned and called to stay in a circle until needed to fight off bad spirits. In these practices they develop relationships with the so-called “good spirits” to fight the bad ones. This is totally against scripture as the only spirit we are to call on is the Holy Spirit to combat evil spirits with His Holy Angels. In essence these guardians or “spirit guides” that are used in Pokemon actually encourage children in the ways of witchcraft. In the Bible one of Israel’s kings, Manasseh, was guilty of witchcraft and other sins and he was brought into bondage because of it.
2 Chronicles 33:6: “And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.”
5). The trading aspect of Pokemon is unhealthy for children too. This aspect has become addictive in many children. It is also creating bad feelings among friends. Some of the older children who are more knowledgeable play off the younger and less knowledgeable ones. When a child doesn’t get the card they want, they feel bad; when they do get the card they want, they feel superior. This trading game is not fostering good Christian traits in children but rather greed, combativeness, extreme competitiveness and obsessiveness. Some children have been so completely obsessed with the game that’s all they want to talk about and do. Family relationships have deteriorated and children no longer talk about themselves or others but rather about when they can make another trade. Some schools in the nation have even banned Pokemon from their schools when trading resulted in kids trading lunches, stealing back packs, and threatening bodily harm for deals gone bad.
6.) Some parents are also saying that they are concerned about disturbing behavior changes since their children started playing the Pokemon games. They are seeing their children fight and display anti-social skills instead of the proper ones. Instead of this game just being one of imaginative fun, it has become addictive and changed the emotional disposition of children. Some children even complain that they don’t feel good after playing the game. Since it is a role playing game, some of the characters are not good and this opens the door for children to receive evil influences and even demonic invasion. Children can receive demon spirits by opening themselves up to the spirits behind Pokemon. When it was first released in Japan in 1997, it was reported that over 600 children went into epileptic seizures while watching the Pokemon cartoons. ² The epileptic seizures were said to be caused by the incessant flashing lights in the cartoon overloading the optical nerves and inciting seizure; however, seizures can also be caused by demonic attack.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I have tried to condense the elements of danger for our children. Now, what can we do about it and what are our responsibilities as parents? First of all, parents and children should pray and ask the Lord for the truth about this game so He can reveal it to you. Many parents just buy the toys their children ask for just so they will be occupied (since many parents are too busy to spend quality time with their children). Parents, you must take a more active role in praying over and researching the toys, books and games before buying them for your children. Children, you must not partake in games that do not help you be a better Christian. You must refuse to go along with the latest fads when they are bad. How can we know if a game or toy is good or bad?
- Determine if the game, video or book involves supernatural power. There are only two sources of super natural power — God or the devil. When it is beyond the natural, it either comes from God or the devil. If it is not from God then we should not be partaking of it.
- Children, ask yourself if this is the kind of game that makes you happy and improves your relationships with others. Parents, see if your child is growing in character via the games he plays or vice versa.
- What kind of things are being learned via these books, games and videos. Remember our minds are molded by what we hear, read and partake of so we must guard our spirit. Psalm 101:3: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
If children have been involved for some time in these satanic games, they may need a prayer of deliverance prayed over them as sometimes the devil can have a stronghold in their lives. Finally any games, books or cards must be disposed of due to the addictive nature of these things. Remember we are in a battle and we must stand on God’s Word to see our children protected and delivered from the influence of the wicked one. Their hearts, as well as our own, need to be guarded from all evil influences.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23:
We encourage you not to let the seemingly little things, like helping choose your children’s toys wisely, be a door for unwanted evil influences in their lives. Don’t let this “little fox” destroy the minds and hearts of our children.
¹Family Christian PC Magazine, July 2000 Issue, Reviews Section
²New Wine Online Website, July Posting, Pastor Brett Peterson
Editor’s Note: There is an excellent book entitled, Turmoil in the Toy Box, that will help parents to understand the evil influences that have influenced toy makers and thus passed this on to our children. Remember unless the toy makers have character and a godly influence they are usually making and selling toys with just a profit in mind.
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Related Topics: What the Bible Says about Witchcraft; Demons; School Shootings; Evil in the World; Repentance; Healing; Scriptural Prayer for Protection
URL: What the Bible Says about the Dangers of the Pokemon Fascination